DHL Aviation has launched temporary Brussels-Miami flights and considers expanding its Africa services. Both measures are the result of the Corona impact.
The Miami service was implemented to ensure service continuity for volume that used to go via the now cancelled commercial flights ex EU, says Public Affairs Manager Freek De Witte. “It also
helps us avoid overload on our daily CVG flight and creates a direct service to the Miami area. This also means that our customers can now send more volume to the Americas, north and south, than
On the return trip from Miami, the flight is mostly filled with perishables coming from South America. The first flight took off on 24th of March. The service is operated on every weekday with a DHL Air B767 freighter aircraft.
Safeguarding the African flows
DHL Aviation is also studying the introduction of more African destinations apart from the Brussels-Lagos service. “You mustn’t forget that the temporary suspension of Brussels Airlines’ African services has led to the loss of a lot of belly capacity,” Mr De Witte adds.
The company has as yet not decided which additional destinations would be offered. “Together with TIACA we are monitoring Africa, as a lot of airports have been closed down due to the Corona outbreak. We would like to keep these flows intact.” DHL is not yet sure of the details of the operation, either to serve it by its own aircraft or by equipment to be found in its ‘virtual airline’ system.
Shifting from air to road
“We are deploying the larger aircraft on the US services and the smaller ones in Europe. As the volumes are coming down in Europe, we may shift some routes to the road, freeing up some smaller aircraft for Africa.”
Over the past 2 weeks DHL has seen its volumes drop by 10% against the set forecast, Mr De Witte concludes. “On the other hand, we are still 10% above last year’s volumes. We see that automotive has nearly come to a stand-still, with medical supplies and equipment booming.”
Marcel Schoeters in Brussels
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